Rutherford County chief officer suspended amid ethics probe

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) – Rutherford County Chief Administrative Officer Joe Russell has been suspended for 10 days without pay after records showed he used his work email to conduct business unrelated to his job.

Multiple media outlets near Murfreesboro are reporting that Sheriff Robert Arnold announced his suspension decision Wednesday.

Russell and Arnold have been under investigation since April by the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in regard to the sale of JailCigs electronic cigarettes to inmates at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center. JailCigs is owned by Sheriff Arnold’s aunt and uncle.

Resident Steve Lane said during a Wednesday phone interview that he and other members of the Tennesseans Against Corruption group are planning to seek an ouster suit to remove Arnold from office after a possible indictment.